Fix it button logoLast week I posted some Wordless Wednesday photos of a propped open fire door, and one of my coworkers asked:  What steps would need to be taken to solve the problem?  This is a great question!

On the door in the photo, a kick-down stop (hold-open) has been installed on a stairwell door.  If you’re not familiar with why this is an issue, the original post has that info.

To resolve the problem created by the installation of the kick-down stop, the first (and obvious) step would be to remove the stop.  This would leave several fastener holes in the fire door, but based on the NFPA 80 standard, these holes could be filled by installing steel fasteners in the holes.  If the kick-down stop was originally installed with steel screws, those fasteners could be used to fill the holes.

After the holder is removed, the door should be checked to make sure that it closes and latches properly.  But WAIT!  I would take it one step further.  Clearly, someone wanted this door to be held open, and that’s why the stop was installed.  Because this is a fire door, the hold-open must release upon fire alarm or smoke detection.  There are various listed products that could be used, including wall- or floor-mounted magnetic holders, and automatic-closing closer/holder units.

In some locations, the door may only need to be held open momentarily – for a minute or two as large groups of people pass through or while someone carries something through the opening.  In this case a delayed action closer could be installed.  A change was made to the 2018 edition of the International Building Code, to clarify that delayed action closers are acceptable on fire door assemblies.

Once the modifications are complete, there is one more step – a fire door assembly inspection.  Beginning with the 2013 edition, the NFPA 80 standard has required fire doors to be inspected after installation and after maintenance work, in addition to the annual inspection that has been required since the 2007 edition.

Are there any other steps that you would take to ensure that this assembly is code-compliant?

Fire door with kick stop installed

Thanks to Marc Zolner of Allegion for this Wordless Wednesday photo!

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